Review: 2010 Saab 9-3

The Saabs don’t strike me as big cars on the inside, but I decided they were still worth a look. The 9-3 has good looks and I expected it to be fun to drive.

Not surprisingly, the 9-3 didn’t have quite the leg room of other sedans I have driven. Still, I was plenty comfortable in the driver’s seat to take it for a spin.

The interior is nice and simple, but still provides good features like auxiliary stereo hookup and bluetooth – both of which are basically essential to me. Controls were easy to find and use. There is some clever (but not really necessary) design found inside the Saabs. The cup holder packaging, in particular was actually somewhat fun to play with. Some of the items & materials seems a little cheap, compared to the rest. The overall quality of the interior was good, so these few items seemed out of place.

Interior space was ok. Not as big as some of the others I’ve driven, but not too tight to be useful. The trunk was big, but the back seats did not fold down. A pass through just right for a set of skis is provided. The 9-3 is available in a wagon as well, although I haven’t personally been in one.

The 2.0L turbocharged engine and automatic transmission provide good performance, with the benefit of good fuel economy. The car is fun to drive, with good handling and a sporty feel. Road noise was more noticeable on the 9-3 that on others I’ve driven, but not what I would consider obnoxious.

Pros: fun to drive, no frills

Cons: size, road noise

I enjoyed my test drive of the 9-3, but it’s a bit small overall for my personal taste. It doesn’t have quite as much space as other mid-sized sedans. If you plan on carrying passengers and/or cargo regularly you may want to try something bigger. I’d recommend it to someone looking for a sporty sedan with decent features and good performance. I might personally hesitate buy a Saab right now, since the future of the brand is unknown. Having said that, I liked the car enough to try the 9-5 as well.

[Image: Saab]


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